GREEN BAY — I had the opportunity Monday to go and watch our beloved Vikings take on the the Division rival Packers in the belly of the beast that is Lambeau Field. And, while the Vikes put up little defense as Aaron Rodgers and company dismantled the Vikings, one thing was clear….we need a stadium in Arden Hills.

Green Bay is no metropolis. It’s estimated population is about 104,000. If you factor in the other nearby communities it jumps to just under 300,000 people. And yet, Green Bay seems to have no problem selling out Lambeau Field. Sure, you could argue the history behind what’s known as “Title Town” and the publicly owned team and facilities as reasons too. But, ultimately they love their team and they are willing to travel across the state to watch them play.

Minnesota fans are no different. We will travel to Arden Hills to watch the Vikings. We want a chance to tailgate, break out the grill, have an adult beverage and throw the football around. We want to congregate with people of like minds and loyalties. We also want a chance to mingle with the enemy. It’s a sacred ritual when two opposing fans talk up their team while taking good-natured jabs at the opponent. In the end, we are all football fans and we all know the Vikings deserve a new home.

It’s clear, the Vikings stadium is a difficult issue with different ideologies. But in the end, we all want to be proud of our state, we want the state to help provide jobs, and to keep our beloved team where it belongs…here in Minnesota.

Even Packers fans I spoke with Monday agree…keeping the Vikings in Minnesota benefits everyone. They want a chance to come to a new stadium and see their team play. And when they come, they are spending their money in our state. It’s estimated a home Vikings game infuses between $8-9-million into the local economy. That’s $64-72-million Minnesota would lose if the Vikings aren’t playing here.

Build a stadium in Arden Hills and they will come.